The Stories Hidden in Pictures

We hiked to Cascade Falls this weekend.

Look at that happy family. So outdoorsy. So smiley. They take their kids hiking. Surely they don't eat sugar or watch Netflix.

The sweatshirt I'm wearing always makes me think of a memory from four years ago, when the little blonde in pink was a new baby.

Caroline was colicky, so evenings were pretty brutal, but perhaps just as bad were the long, long days. Because this baby wanted to be held and I mean allllllll the time.

In this picture I look like someone who, in spite of being a little haggard, is enjoying her new baby.  I distinctly remember that moment, and how much I wanted to fly away.

This one, too.

When Caroline was six weeks old we went on a big Stillman family vacation in Midway. I was tired and raw and at my limit, and six o'clock (colic time) came without mercy. Tyler and I took Caroline down to the basement of the large house where we were staying and geared up for the next few hours of inconsolable crying we had just started dealing with nightly.

Tyler's sister Allison followed us downstairs, took the baby from my arms, and told me to drive away. After a milli-second of protest I walked out of there like I had just finished a prison sentence.

I drove to The Store in Midway and wandered around the aisles, cried to my sister on the phone, and wondered how in the world I was going to get through this. I bought that Midway sweatshirt because it was cold.

A lifetime and no time at all have passed between this...

...and this.

When I see sweet, idyllic pictures of my family I can't help but reflect that there is a price to be paid for beauty like that. Sometimes it is a heavy, heavy price.

But I think you know what I'm going to say next.

It could not be more worth it.